Skip to content
to Reel Tape Recorders From The United Kingdom
1960’s Elizabethan Electronics Ltd founded in Romford Essex UK, a manufacturer of stereos, reel to reel recorders, radios and television sets until the 1970’s
1918 – Founded by Joseph Wright and Thomas Weaire, started as Wright and Weaire Ltd. in London making radio components and instruments. Post-WWII Wright and Weaire announced their decision to retire and offered the company to Richard Merrick, Ernest Niblett, and Walter Berridge. 1945 – Production transferred from Tottenham to a bigger factory at South Shields 1947 – Merrick was introduced to Louis Fishoff who convinces Merrick to pursue tape recorder production 1948 – Weairite Deck prototype later incorporated into the first Ferrograph tape recorder that was delivered in early 1949 1949 – The British Ferrograph Recorder Company founded as Read More
Truvox was founded in the mid 1930’s, producing various types of sound reproduction devices. Portable reel to reel tape recorder Manufacturing started in the early 50s. We don’t know when they lost interest in tape recorders but perhaps one of the members can submit this information. In the early 1960s they got into floor cleaning machines and continue polishing to this day.
1931 – The Gramophone Company and The Columbia Graphophone Company merged into Electric and Musical Industries (EMI) 1940’s – EMI made the reel-to-reel tape recorders known as British Tape Recorders or BTR machines were initially made by EMI in England after World War II. These first magnetic tape recorders to be manufactured in Britain imitated the design of tape recorders used by the Germans during the war. 1947 – The first R-R model made by EMI was the BTR1 1949 – The first prerecorded reel-to-reel tapes were introduced in the USA 1952 – EMI made the improved BTR2 model that Read More
TRE‘s origins lie in Eisler & Gilbey’s “Mail Order Supply” company from 1951. Tape Recorders Electronics Ltd (TRE) of London, UK, opened their doors in 1953 and marketed under the brand name “Sound”. They became known for their Burgoyne brand and the ‘Editor’ tape recorders, later adopting the early Walter deck to which the ‘Sound’ name was first applied before chosing Collaro decks after 1956. TRE also made machines for several large retailers- Civic, Retra and the like. Nearly all of them used a BSR or Collaro deck with “cost-effective” electronics. Around 1964, they began exporting into the US with Read More
Founded after WWII, Jack Dickman’s Fidelity Radio Company produced cheap radios and record players for the general domestic market, especially during the ‘swinging sixties’. The Fidelity range of tape recorders used BSR decks and Fidelity’s own attractive contemporary cabinets. The first models, the ‘Argyll’ and ‘Argyll Minor’ were released in late 1959, the last model ‘Braemar’ appeared in 1968. By 1972 Fidelity were the largest transistor radio and colour TV manufacturer in Britain, acquiring the HMV brand in 1979 before coming part of the Caparo Group in 1984. However with cheap imports from Asia, manufacture finally ceased in 1988.
1859 Alfred Charles Cossor established a company in England to manufacture scientific glassware. 1902 The company produced the first British made Braun tube (cathode ray tube) 1927 Launched its famous “Melody Makers” radio sets. These constructor kits did much to popularize radio 1932 Introduced its first cathode ray oscilloscope. 1936 Sold its first television receiver. 1945 Secondary radar for air traffic control became a key area of development. 1949 EMI acquired control of Cossor 1950’s Manufacture of radio sets continued after the war with fewer and fewer models ending with the introduction of tape recorders before the Cossor was sold Read More
1941 – Simon Sound Equipment was founded by Reginald Simon 1940’s – special order factory amplifiers, wire and disk recorders produced in small quantities Early 1950s – designing and producing magnetic tape recorders, earliest models 1A and 2B 1955 – SP1 which appeared on the market in 1955. 1957 – SP2 with features not normally found on domestic semi pro machines with fairly large output stages, typically EL84s in push pull. Simon also marketed an FM tuner unit to accompany the SP2 recorder produced by Jason, a supplier of constructional kits during the 1950s. 1958 – SP4 an auto reverse Read More
1959 Fi-Cord markets the model 202 portable recorder built for them by Erskine in the UK in and produced until 1962. These were very small had some semi-professional features 1960’s F-Cord introduces the 1A a miniature recorder built for Fi-Cord by the company that later became Stellavox. All Fi-cord models from 1963 such as the E-222559 seem to have been made in Switzerland and may have been built by Stellavox. The Fi-Cord 300A was released. It was a portable reel recorder made in Switzerland. The Fi-Cord 101 S was small and known as the “spy recorder” of the 1960’s
Composer Norman Leevers founded Leevers Rich Ltd 1947 – Started developing tape recorder, the Synchropulse, a transportable 2 track mono recorder that could synchronize with a film camera. 1950 – Opened Leevers Rich Studios based in Wardour Street, in Soho, London and released the Leevers-Rich Series C and D. Post World War II 1951 – Registered Leevers – Rich Equipment Ltd. 1955 – Leevers Rich Heavy Duty Magnetic Recorder models C5, D2A, and D2B 1960s – Produced data recorders, and custom 1″ 8-track recorders for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. 1961 – Developed Series E. 1980s – Stopped manufacturing tape recorders
Casian Ltd of 27 Grafton House, Golden Square, London W1 was best known for this model, the Trav-Ler (Train-Road-Aeroplane-Vessel-Lasting-Exceptional-Recording) In late 1960, the rights for manufacture and distribution were bought by Aerialite Ltd in Chesire in December 1960 but the Trav-Ler had all but disappeared in the U.K. by 1962. So then we see the Trav-Ler TT 591 showing up in the USA with an indication that it was manufactured in Chicago. Perhaps the mystery will be unraveled by one of our members?
1735 – George Wickes founded Garrard and Company in London and appointed as Crown Jewellers of London. 1914 – Garrard & Co manufactured precision range finders for the British Artillery. 1915 – Formed Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company Ltd to manufacture precision parts for the military. 1919 – Started producing consumer products high-quality spring wound gramophone motors for Columbia and Decca. Introduced Garrard 1 double spring motor 1921 – Garrard 2, Garrard 3 & 3 with single 1” spring 1922 – Garrard 1a, with 12” pressed steel turntable, winder, brake, speed indicator and Garrard 4, with double spring and capable Read More
Both Robuk Electrical Industries and Modern Techniques Ltd were owned by S Korobuk Ltd and were founded by Samuel Korobuk and his wife Iris in 1951 at Palmers Green. Modern techniques Ltd was the manufacturing arm and produced both the Motek tape deck and their own heads, both of which were supplied to various other manufacturers. The Motek decks were very popular but competition from Collaro and BSR prompted Korobuk to market his own recorders, under the name Robuk – a derivation from his own surname. The first Robuk RK3 recorder was available in 1960, followed by the RK4 in Read More
1936 – The Vortexion Ltd of Wimbledon was founded by brothers Sidney and Edward Brown 1937 – Vortexion CP20, first portable amplifier 1942 – Edward Brown died Post war 1947 – Produced AD47, recording amplifier and EMI BTR1, a Magnetophon recording and replay amplifier 1948 – Emergence of complete home tape recorder 1949 – PX4, a stereophonic amplifier 1950s’ – Wimbledon or “Super 50” was released. 1950 – Introduced 3/PPM valve mixer 1953 – Vortexion “A” followed by WVA, a monaural machine and recording being made can be heard on the internal loudspeaker and WVB series, a high quality monaural Read More
The Baird name is synonymous with the invention of television – established in 1926 and selling the first set in 1930. Baird himself worked for the Government during WWII and died in 1946. The Baird company continued with TV and scientific instrument manufacture, merging with Scophony Ltd and continuing as Scophony-Baird until 1952 when they dropped the Scophony to again become just Baird. Tape recorder manufacture began in 1951, the vertically-operated ‘Scophony-Baird’ which was later marketed as the Baird Soundmaster was years ahead of its time. Several models followed, all using other manufacturer’s decks; the TR1 being Collaro-powered and later recorders Read More
Birmingham Sound Reproducers was founded in 1932 by Daniel McLean McDonald (ex British Thompson-Houston) and began producing transformers. Soon they were manufacturing the BSR ‘Ampligram’ self-contained gramophone/amplifier and direct cut disc recorders. During the war (1939-1945) they developed an oscillator-based acoustic mine detonator and in conjunction with Decca, an early form of ASDIC. After the war they moved into gramophone motor production, communications systems and eventually in 1959, the first tape deck, the Monardeck TD1 – an inexpensive machine with a 5¾ ; inch spool and a single speed which was used by many of the small British tape recorder Read More
Collaro R-R transports were purchased by many manufacturers, primarily in the 1960s. These manufacturers would buy either the Collaro Transcriptor or Collaro Studio And design their own electronics and everything else to make a tape recorder. Collaro was quite diversified but in the world of audio produced gramophones, record players and tape decks. In the 60s, they were the largest manufacturer of record changers and tape transports in the UK.
1896 – W.G.Pye and Co. Ltd.founded by William George Pye WW1 – Manufactures experimental thermionic valves, bringing technical knowledge to develop it’s first wireless at a factory in Chesterton for the first UK broadcasts made by the BBC in 1922 1924 – Harold Pye, son of the founder & Edward Appleton, a former tutor at St. John’s College, design a new series of receivers 1928 – William Pye sold the company to C.O.Stanley, now renaming it Pye Radio Ltd. They established a chain of small component manufacturing factories across East Anglia. 1937 – Pye produces a 5 inch TV priced Read More
1952 Rudman Darlington Electronics Ltd was founded and produced their first Reflectograph model tape recorder 1956 The Reflectograph RR 102 industrial version was released and used by the BBC among others 1960’s Reflectograph marketed a range of reel to reel recorders and accessories under the Pamphonic brand Source
Audiotrine, from the UK, offered tape recorders as easy to assemble kits, using the Collaro transcriptor transport. The kit could be assembled in one hour and included carrying case for a modest 40 pounds that they suggested was comparable to other tape recorders costing 60 to 80 pounds.
Maestrovox was a British company best known for its line of tube based electronic organs which were designed and built by Victor Harold Ward at his Electron Works in Uxbridge, Middlesex. The first design model went on sale on May 5, 1952 at the British Industries Fair at Olympia, London, where it was hailed as the “Success of the Year” taking orders in excess of £80,000. It seems that tape recorder manufacture was a one-off sideline with only this one example sited, and the company wound down in 1970.
Founded by the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi as the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company, they eventually became one of the most successful manufacturing companies in the UK. The company opened the world’s first radio factory in Chelmsford in 1898 and were responsible for many of the most important advances in radio and television Early milestones… 1899 Formation of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, which was bought by by RCA in 1920 1922 Formation of the British Broadcasting Company, later to become the BBC 1924 Formation of the Unione Radiofonica Italiana (URI), which was granted a monopoly by Mussolini for Read More
Scophony and John Logie Baird Ltd merged in 1949 to form Scophony-Baird, located on Lancelot Road, Wembley, Middlesex
If you know of any
that Elizabethan (EAP) produced
If you know of any
reel tape manufacturers from united kingdom Please Submit